Man who shut down jail with Ebola scare pleads guilty

Sentenced to ten years, with one year in custody

By C1 Staff

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A man who claimed he had recently visited West Africa and was suffering from Ebola pleaded guilty to making false statements after investigators discovered that he hadn’t been outside the U.S. since 2005.

Harry Randall Withers, Jr., was arrested on Oct. 3 for drunk driving and failure to stay in his lane, according to Smyrna-Vinings Patch. While being processed at the Cobb County Jail, Withers faked Ebola symptoms and claimed to have recently visited Nigeria and Kenya.

The jail was immediately locked down and Withers was transported to the WellStar Kennstone Hospital.

Tests quickly determined that Withers was not in fact infected.

Investigators also discovered that Withers has not been outside the U.S. since 2005 and does not have a passport.

Withers also pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor DUI and failure to maintain lane changes he faced for his original arrest.

He was sentenced to ten years, with one year in custody. The sentenced will be suspended once Withers completes a six-month drug rehabilitation program and pay $10,000 to the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.

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